Get a Financial Life - A Review

By Eric Hammer

Get a Financial Life, by Beth Kobliner - Fireside 2009

For every 20 to 30 something who has ever been told to "get a life," we present "Get a Financial Life" by Beth Kobliner. The book was updated in 2009 (it was originally released in the mid 1990s so it had been showing its age a bit) and is designed specifically to address the needs of people in their 20s and 30s who need to figure out, often for the first time in their lives, how to handle their own finances.

The Financial Owner's Manual for You

Discussing what to do with a 401K and mutual fund accounts, as well as why it's important to start putting money away early rather than waiting until later, Get a Financial Life is a must read for every young person who, for the first time has found herself on her own and working for a living and going out to an office instead of living at home.

It's also intended for the boy who has now become a man and who sits in an office all day but doesn't quite understand why he should care about putting money into an IRA when he's just 25 years old and has a lifetime ahead of him with more important things, like a fancy car (the one he lusted after in college but couldn't afford to purchase). In short, it's the owner's manual for you and your financial life.

The One Problem with This Book

If there is a flaw in the book, it's that Get a Financial Life is not likely to be read by the people who most need to read it - those same 20 somethings who are starting their financial lives and making the same mistakes that most people tend to make when they have money for the first time without knowledge. Therefore, we're recommending that it end up being on your gift list for the college graduate in your life.

Who Doesn't Need It

Okay, we've talked about whom Get a Financial Life is good for. Let's talk about whom it's not for: It's not for someone who reads tons of stuff about personal finance. There are no earth shattering revelations here. If you are already financially savvy, there's nothing you're going to read here which will make you say wow, I had no idea about that and I'm so glad I read this book.

That said, even for those who know their way around but feel like they simply want a bit of a refresher course or maybe a kind of a handbook to help them make the most of their financial lives - a place to look for information that you know but maybe don't remember details about, you could do worse than to purchase Get a Financial Life.

The book is written in a clear, concise manner which makes it easy to understand some very complex financial issues, such as legitimate tax deductions and why running to the ATM constantly is a huge mistake. Bottom line, Get a Financial Life is a good, basic money book for those who need one.

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